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When I bought the HHR it came with 3 free months of XM radio. I decided to keep it for a year to see how I like and I honestly haven’t decided yet whether or not to keep it yet…I go back and forth. Mostly it will depend on the merger with Sirius and whether or not I will get to add Sirius 128 to my XM package.

However- one thing that I am TOTALLY digging on XM right now is station xm51: Mandatory Metallica.  Yep you guessed…all Metallica all the time.  They have been playing all kinds of Metallica, old stuff, new stuff (off the NEW album), live stuff, outtakes, interviews with the band and interviews with other bands on the influence of Metallica on their music. I can say this about it: I am normally a station hopper and hop between 3-5 stations ranging from country to 80′s pop to punk to sports radio (Dialed In with Claire B) and everything inbetween (I know I am an odd bird musically).  Since turning on Mandatory Metallica (They go through bands…awhile back it was Led Zep) I have yet to change the station.

As I have mentioned here and there on this blog I am a big music lover. I listen to nearly anything (still haven’t gotten into jazz or blues too much yet).  When I was young I was exposed to mostly country- with some rock influences. By mid to late grammar school I took to 80′s pop with a special infinity to “new wave.” That lasted through grammar school and in junior high I discovered rock…glam metal to be exact. I was mostly more about the more “bubblegum” rock…big hair…lotsa makeup- you know what I am talking about. My favorite bands at the time were Poison, Cinderella, and Guns N Roses.

Then one day the son of a friend of my dad’s came over to borrow some tool.  I remember this like it was yesterday. He was borrowing something from my dad to work on his car (he had a beige Eagle Wagon).  I had had a crush on him…boy did I. He was three years older than me and didn’t even know I was alive.  I sat outside on the brick planter while my dad helped him load the tool or tools into his car they were talking and he was telling my dad about a great concert he went to …a band called Metallica.  He wore a whilte “And Justice For ALL…” tour shirt.  The next time I was at the mall I bought that album because I wanted him to know I liked Metallica too…so yeah I probably picked up my Metallica on false pretenses- but I found that I immediately identified with the band and ended up picking up their other albums.  I found their music comforting during a time in my life where I was going through a strange period – I was rebellious, hormonal,  and I dunno – my mom says every girl goes through a “stage” at this age…but I went from loving school to hating school (I was bullied a bit too so that didn’t help matters). Then the school I went to saw that I was testing in the 98th and 99th percentile on standardized tests for my grade level and  decided to change me over to the Gifted program midstream and it upset my routine (what you need to know is that all the kids in the gifted program already knew each other from grammar school because the gifted kids in grammar school had big get together and stuff-. and…well lets just say I got sent to the school psychologist (and that ended up pissing me off even more). Anyway I found Metallica to be a comfort at a time when I didn’t really have one.

When I wasn’t much older- I wrote down a list of bands I wanted to see live before I die. There were lots of bands…mostly rock ones: Poison, Cinderella, Ozzy, Kiss, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Tim McGraw, and several others got crossed off. There are only two left on that list. Metallica is one of them. I don’t know if I will ever get to see them. They don’t tour as hard as they once did (and who can blame them- they have families now) and I don’t really have anyone to go with- especially not that my brother is a father himself…and BFM drew the line in the sand at Metallica…and I can’t blame her- they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

I was the guest questioner on Friday Fill-In #86:

1. Dancing to the beat while you hold me makes me feel like I’m home.

2. The last time I went to a NASCAR race I nearly froze to death.

3. When I drive I howl along to the radio very loud.

4. I saw him standing there.

5. Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.

6. Next week I am looking forward to the PEPSI 500- I am going.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting my presentation over wtih, tomorrow my plans include working and watching Tony win Bristol and Sunday, I want to start packing!

And now Bill’s MI-5:

1) Do you use some form of PDA (personal digital assistant)/MP3 player/smart phone for contacts and calendar items? If so, what is it, and what do you use it for? If you don’t use some sort of digital calendar, what do you use?  I don’t use any sort of digital calendar.

2) Do you use any sort of MP3 player? If not, do you use anything for “music on the go”? I use an ipod 5G video mainly. I also have 2 ipod shuffles that I use.

3) Do you have a favorite application you run on your PDA/MP3/smart phone? What is it? If you don’t use one, how about some cool application you like on your computer? I just use it for music and the very occasionally the video function.

4) How about a favorite game on your widget? If you’re non-widget-ized, what games do you like to play on your computer?  Well I have a nintendo DS that I love to play Guitar Hero ON TOUR on.

5) Most little gadgets have a way to personalize them, like a cover or faceplate or something. What’s on yours? If you don’t own one, tell us about something else you’ve personalized. My ipod is engraved with JUST OPEN YOUR EYES, THE LIGHTS WILL SHINE ON YOU.

Bristol is one of my favorite tracks to watch.  I think because its short and inevitable there is more bumping and grinding. Although since the new surface there hasn’t been as much bumping or grinding. But I still love this short track.  Of course I will be rooting for Tony Stewart and Home Depot to get their first win of the season. I worry however that team Home Depot might be playing it a little (or a lotta) to safe.  What I mean by this is that Jeff Gordon basically said during his post-wreck interview that he was relieved because they can stop playing it safe to maintain their chase position and go full-tilt.  I hope Team Home Depot goes full tilt.

That being said if memory serves me correctly (and it might not) Kvapil had a pretty good finish there last race. I am really hoping he has another strong run and I am excited to see him run the “Knight Rider” paint scheme.  Kvapil has had many cool paint schemes this year, mostly due to the fact that his car has been having sponsorship issues. (Remember serveral races back when I commented on how I hated to see his car naked on the track becaue it didn’t have a sponsor?) So far my favorite paint schemes of Kvapil’s was the California Highway Patrol sponsorship scheme he ran at Sonoma.

The only other thing about Bristol is I am hoping not to miss it! I have to work Saturday. I work one or two Saturdays a year…and this one happens to be during Saturday Bristol. ARG. I am pretty sure I will make it home (crossing fingers and setting dvr).


Originally uploaded by DeuceDelight2

Yeah I know it’s late…but I have been crazy busy- really its the same old song and dance and by the time I get home at night blogging is not high on my list of priorities during this time when I am so “slammed” at work. Luckily I can post date my blogs and have them publish when I want to so it looks like I am more productive that I am. So onto Michigan:

Going over the notes I take during the race. Yes I take notes- yes I know that probably makes me nerdy but if I hear something or see something and I want to remember it I will never remember what lap it was on. Of course some of my notes have nothing to do with the race. For instance I have written: Lap 14 Mom goes to babysit Matthew across the street. Why I wrote that? I don’t know really but my mom asked me when she went and I was able to guestimate by the lap. So during warm up laps Tony offers to buy after the race, to which crew chief Greg Zipadelli tells him “Damn straight you are” and spotter Mark Robertson offers to be the designated driver. Anyway…Team Home Depot started off with a really loose car which seems to be the trouble throughout the day (getting a little better after each pitstop). Team Home depot did have some really good pitstops. Radio communications that I heard on hotpass (and remember these are censored) were very positive. Tony praised his crew for good pitstops a couple of times, Zipadelli praised/encouraged Tony several times, telling him he had good laptimes, or that they would continue to work on the car. Other teams seemed to be strugging with frustrated drivers, including Jeff Gordon who told his crew “That was a sorry pitstop.: Dale Jr got frustrated with his spotter and told him not to tell him anything except that when a car was under him. The rest he didn’t care about. Even Denny Hamlin snapped at reporters that his team “Didn’t even deserve to be in the chase.” It was a frustrating day for many. But Team Home Depot kept level heads and worked slowly to improve the car- and Tony was able to finish 12 and move up another position in the points up to 6th. (I am still not breathing easy about making the chase until we are locked in).

Other Notes about Michigan:

  • I couldn’t watch much of the nationwide race. I honestly don’t remember what I was doing on Saturday but I was busy. But I found this picture on Flickr from the race. I have to say…I love the Firesuit…and I think it rocked that Tony agreed to wear a firesuit with hearts, stars, and mushrooms on it.  (click on above picture to be taken to the flickr pic).
  • Heads up to Travis Kvapil who not only finished 13th, but was also able to keep his car under him on Lap 109 when Hornish got loose and came across his nose.  I am telling you Kvapil has talent!

I accidently deleted my post because I am a nimrod. Because I did this I lost valli’s comment Urg.

I figure by now you have seen the new layout. So what do you think about it? I personally love it (its so girly…yet not overboard). Let me know if you have any suggestions…likes…hates. I wish I could take credit for this great new layout but it was all done by KarahLeigh over at Trackbunny designs. She is great to work with and extremely fair priced- so if you are looking for a layout or even just a new header graphic…check her out- I highly recommend. Ok so that is my plug for Karah (who didn’t ask for it by the way- just so you know).

I have been a busy little bandicoot lately and when I am home I don’t even want to look at the computer much. Work has gotten just crazy. I love my job…but this time of year is always the most hectic and most stressful. I think we are in pretty good shape this year prep-wise…but it will still be crazy busy. Actually for the next two or three weeks crazy busy would describe a good day. During this time of year we also try to extend our hours. Not easy when you only have a staff of two for the desk. We are going to try to use our student workers to our advantage to help with this but I will still have to work on Saturday this week (Don’t worry I am 99% sure I will be home in time for Bristol) and next week I shift my hours to cover staying open until 6:00.

Luckily I was able way back in April or May ask for two days off next week…so that I can sneak down to the PEPSI 500. I have my tickets and am soo looking forward to it. I leave very early next thursday to drive down there. I will be coming back September 1st. Fair warning that the blog will be kinda quiet during those times but I am sure I will have plenty to talk about when I get back.

I have more posts to post (including a Stewart Haas teammate post, a post-Michigan report…and a pre-Bristol report). The worst part? It’s almost Wednesday already…so that post-Michigan report? Its very late. Yikes.

Oh! And I got a little wily when I had my hair done this weekend…its now two tone. I have a dark mocha color on the underside with my normal light blonde highlights on the top. I actually REALLY like it- more than I thought I would:

The Back of my hair...looks better today actually...

The Back of my hair...looks better today actually...

First off…as of this writing on Friday night I have further reason to believe Tony Stewart is trying to give me an ulcer. Why? First Practice Speed: 41st. Qualifying? 21st. I know, I know, it’s only practice…it’s only qualifying. But still it makes Amy very nervous… If Amy were BFM she would be able to tell you right now how many points Tony would lose (and thus drop in the standings) if Tony came in dead last- because her friend does these points calculations for her driver (Jeff Gordon)- in her head on the fly. Which amazes me. I am glad I can’t do math that quickly in my head because I would probably be wanting to vomit right now.

Anyway- on to my original point. The alumni association at my alma mater (which also happens to by my workplace) had a call out for former alumni to volunteer for the Concorso Italiano which is here in conjunction with the Concourse d’Elegance and the Monterey Historic Car races. Now I passed it up because I was flying solo at work…and if I weren’t there – there would be no helpdesk because my coworker and lead were both on vacation…and we are getting up to our busy time of year.

First I have to paint you a picture…when I drive to work- as much as I bitch about the drive- it really is not all that bad in the grand scheme of commutes. Its a 10 mile commute that takes me about 15-25 minutes depending mostly on tractors. Yes you read that right…tractors. Most of my commute is through farm land…where I drive by fields of produce like strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, etc. Anyway…I usually see nothing more than other commuters, lots of ag trucks and tractors….and every once in a while I see this guy who drives the same commute as I do but the opposite way driving an orange lotus (looks alot like this one). I figure he’s a doctor or lawyer. So that is my commute.

Today during my commutes into work and back home from work I saw: 3 Lamborghini’s, 5 Ferrari’s and countless porsches, two cute little rally cars of some sort and a couple of cars that I had no idea what they were but they were def there for the historic car races. The best one of them all? The really old guy in the older silver Lamborghini pulled over to the side of the road asking field workers for directions. I wish I had my camera more handy (it was in my purse on the floorboard on the passenger side…and I was going 65- so not handy). Anyway seeing all the cool cars got me wishing for a moment that I had volunteered to work. I could have seen all the gorgeous cars….I have always had a thing for Lamborghinis. I think I have mentioned that as a junior high student I had Lamborghini posters all over my room. Oh well…maybe next year.

Jim’s “I Don’t Like It” M-I5:

1. Is there a term or expression you dislike? Believe it or not there are several curse words I don’t like and won’t use. Both start with the letter C. Also…It drives me insane when people use DUH or D’OH. I don’t know why but it does.

2. A place you dislike? The eye doctor…or any doctor.

3. A food or cuisine you dislike? Pretty much I don’t like innards of any type. Oh…and I don’t like lima beans.

4. A social situation you dislike? I am pretty uncomfortable in a large mingling situation with people I don’t know. (I am socially awkward remember?)

5. A memory you could stand to forget?  Well let’s just say..there is a huge reason Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday and it has NOTHING to do with being thankful that and a specific memory I have of my grandpa in the hospital before he died.

And now…Friday Fill-in # 85

1. The last meal I had at a restaurant was Cyclone Pasta at the Outback.

2. Liver is something I intensely dislike.

3. The full moon is when crazy things happen.

4. “Okey Dokey Artichokey” is one of my favorite local expressions. (Just for the record I do NOT say this- it was the only local thing I could think of).

5. Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.

6. Sex In The City is the best movie I’ve seen so far this year! (Gimme a break I’ve only seen 3)

7. And as for the weekend, tonighttoday I’m looking forward to trying to talk my boss into something, tomorrow my plans include nothing special and Sunday, I want to watch Tony Stewart win at Michigan!

Michigan is one of the tracks that I honestly don’t have a feeling for one way or the other.  Its a d-shaped oval…and it is what it is.   Its not one of my favorites (like Bristol and Martinsville and Vegas) and its not one of my least favorites (Pocono).  Now if Michigan wants to move up there on my list of track love…it needs to give Team Home Depot a win. (YES A WIN!)  I know that my boys (Team Home Depot) have moved up in the points thanks to back to back second places but there are still four races before the chase and I am still petrified that we will have a really bad race or two (queue that Bad Day song …you know the one from AI) and drop completely out. I may have some sort of ulcer by the time the Chase gets here.

  • Stewart Haas racing is set to announce the driver of the #4 car (the second car and thus Tony’s new teammate for 2009) tomorrow.  The best unkept secret is that its going to be RYAN NEWMAN (current driver of the #12 Penske car).  I hope they tell us sponsors too…I have heard several different things including Burger King.
  • Saturday will be Tony Stewart’s last run in the #20 Nationwide car for Joe Gibbs racing in the CarFax250. Not only that but Tony will be running a special paint scheme (something Tony doesn’t do very often) for GIVE KIDS THE WORLD Village!  Now it’s your turn to help:  Whether or not your are a NASCAR FAN: If you have a few spare dollars please click on the FIRST GIVING box on the right there (UNDER SPEED UPDATES)  and help GIVE KIDS THE WORLD (which sends families with critically ill children to a fun family resort in Florida- cost free to the families). By supporting GKTW you are helping create magical memories for families. And to answer your question, yes…I have donated…go ahead and check the list of donors..you will see my name- (twice actually because I forgot I had some extra dough this month).
  • Will some one please tell me how a driver who has won eight races (Kyle Busch or as my friend and I refer to him: KyBu…not to be confused with brother KuBu) but hadn’t won one recently can be considered to be having a “slump?”  I mean come on, if you considered that a slump I don’t want to hear what you have to say about Tony being winless in the SprintCup series so far this year.
  • Speaking of Tony- I like to read the pre-race articles that TonyStewart.com puts out before every race…mostly I admit- I scroll to the bottom to see what kind of luck we have at that particular track if any.  But I have to say that I LOVE the one that was written for MICHIGAN.  It’s all about the attitude in that first line:

They’re unfocused.  They’ve lost their edge.  They’re not on the same page.  They’re already looking toward next year.

Whatever.” [source: TonyStewart.com]

Now that is attitude.